Corporate investment in the digitization of financial operations has been a focal point as a result of the pandemic. MineralTree, a prominent payables automation fintech, has been conducting accounts payable (AP) surveys for a number of years, and their most recent effort can be accessed here.
Most—if not all—surveys around AP will be targeted at the payables side of the equation but in this case, responses includes the supplier perspective. One of the benefits of accounts payable automation is better supply chain relationships, so gaining some idea of what the receivables folks think seems to be a good idea. We follow this space this space quite closely, most recently in member research.
Readers can review the details upon downloading the report, but some of the highlights include:
- Automation ‘barriers’ show that roughly 42% of respondents say “our current processes work.” This is consistent with our take that inertia plays a major role in the lack of automation initiatives.
- There was an almost twenty percentage point increase from the previous survey in respondents who indicated that they have adopted AP automation, which is consistent with pandemic related acceleration indications.
- 85% and 80% of suppliers cite faster payments and process efficiency, respectively, as the main benefits of AP automation.
- Year-on-year survey changes indicate substantial increases in the use of virtual card (38%) and corporate cards (31%), with a corresponding decrease (-55%) in the use of checks for payments.
Overview by Steve Murphy, Director, Commercial and Enterprise Payments Advisory Service at Mercator Advisory Group.